Protect Your Child From Corded Window Coverings

window coveringsPhoto by Savvas Stravrinos on Pexels

Some hazards in the home are obvious; parents quickly take steps to remove or modify them in the interest of keeping their kids safe because they stand out as a hazard that must be dealt with. The most dangerous hazards in your home are those that lurk quietly and do not draw attention to themselves. You may not even think of them as a hazard until it is too late.

A Silent Killer

One such hazard that has lurked silently in homes for many years were window coverings that operated via exposed cords. Young children, sometimes as young as 8 months, can become entangled in the cords of a blind which cut off their air supply and can cause them to die by strangulation. It can take only a matter of seconds for a child to become entangled, and because the cords cut off their oxygen, they cannot cry out for help. Fifty fatalities among infants and young children due to window cord strangulation were reported to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission between 2012 and 2017. When it comes to hidden hazards in American homes, the USCPSC includes corded window coverings as one of the top five.

New Regulations

For this reason, new regulations have recently gone into effect to protect children from unnecessary strangulation injuries and deaths. As of December 15, 2018, retailers are no longer allowed to sell off-the-shelf corded window blinds. From now on, any pre-made window blinds sold in stores must either be cordless or have interior cords that are inaccessible to children.

Parents are advised to note that the regulation does not apply to custom blinds, only to pre-made stock. However, many manufacturers of window coverings have cordless options available for sale. For example, Next Day Blinds offers several cordless options certified “Best for Kids” by the Window Coverings Safety Council, a national coalition dedicated to educating consumers about safety as it relates to window cords.

However, the new regulations will not affect the blinds already in your home. The WCSC strongly urges parents of young children to replace corded window coverings with safer options. However, every situation is different and in some cases, replacing window treatments may not be possible. In that case, the WCSC encourages parents to retrofit older window coverings to make them safer for children and provides instructions on how to do it.

Why Cords Can Be Dangerous

There are two basic concerns when it comes to corded window coverings. The first concern is the cords along the sides that are used to control the blinds. For example, many blinds have cords that allow you to raise or lower them, and some also have cords to open and shut the slats. The other concerns are the interior cords that hold the slats in place. The concern is that children can pull the interior cords out and entangle themselves within them.

Basically, any cord that forms a loop, and is slack enough for a child to fit his or her head through, is of serious concern. The material from which the cord is made makes no difference; metal or beaded cords are just as much of a potential threat.

How You Can Make Your Home Safer

The WCSC suggests several steps that can make your child’s room safer even if you cannot replace the window coverings.

Make the following changes to existing window coverings, if possible:

Install cord stops to restrict the length of the cords
Cut free any looped pull cords; apply continuous tension to any that cannot be cut
Eliminate dangling cords

Window covering manufacturer Next Day Blinds corporation offers breakaway cord consolidators that separate under pressure. In addition, they offer cord cleats free of charge. Wrap cords onto the cleats when not in use, and children cannot access them.

You can also make your child’s room safer by rearranging the furniture so that toys and furniture like cribs and beds are as far away from the windows as possible.

Factors for Birth Injuries in Children

birthPhoto by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

No happily expecting mother wants her pregnancy to result in trauma, but childbirth complications are far too common on a global scale. But while many people confuse or combine birth injuries with birth defects, they differ on one major point: birth defects usually occur during gestation while birth injuries are just that… injuries or accidents that occur during or right after delivery. Almost 4 million babies are born in the U.S. every year, and approximately 7 out of 1000 are born with birth injuries. Most of those are completely avoidable with a little extra forethought and planning. But you first need to know the specific factors and causes that lead to these issues.

Infant and Mother Sizes Matter

A mother’s size goes a long way to determining the health and size of her fetus. Premature deliveries can lead to potentially serious injuries such as caput succedaneum where there’s swelling of the head, cuts and fractures on or of the limbs, and oxygen deprivation. However, post-term deliveries can also be high at risk for injuries. Fetal macrosomia is a term used to describe infants weighing over 8 lbs, 13 oz. Complications intensify when the fetus is closer to 10 lbs at birth. A baby of this large size can seriously complicate vaginal birth and lead to birth injuries, require a Caesarean section, or even lead to potentially serious health issues after birth.

Low Oxygen or Oxygen Deprivation

The mother and fetus require proper and continued amounts of oxygen to ensure a safe and successful delivery. Unfortunately, oxygen deprivation is far too common. This can occur for a number of reasons, including trauma in the womb, placenta issues, a prolapsed umbilical cord, preeclampsia, and excessive medication given to the mother. However, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is one of the most common types of brain damage that occurs during birth when oxygen deprivation is an issue. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy occurs in approximately 20 of every 1000 full-term live births and in 60% of premature babies. HIE is also a major cause of cerebral palsy and other irreversible life disabilities.

Delayed or Extended Birth Complications

Labors lasting over 18 hours can be incredibly risky for the infant. The human brain is able to withstand a certain amount of pressure, but 18-hour deliveries are classified as traumatic even if no other issues have arisen. At this point, the infant’s brain can compress making delivery especially difficult. Fetal distress often occurs and the baby’s blood pressure elevates in response. Any number of neurological conditions may result from the trauma, including ADHD, Autism, brain injury, hematoma, or even spina bifida if the baby’s spinal cord is blocked or pinched during delivery. A competent birth injury may need to be contacted at this point.

Medical Malpractice

Not all birth injuries are caused by a traumatic delivery or medical malpractice, but the majority of the obvious ones are. Lacerations, broken bones, bruises, and other actual injuries are quickly noticed and discovered by parents and doctors alike. They also tend to heal quickly. However, some issues may require extended or ongoing treatment while others may show up later and lead to lifelong challenges. Regardless, childbirth complications can extend treatment times and expenses for years to come. If you’re faced with those challenges, contact a birth injury attorney. We can help so you don’t have to face them alone.

5 Surprising Advantages of Breastfeeding a Toddler

mom and toddlerPhoto by Jessica To’oto’o on Unsplash

A mother’s breastfeeding journey is never easy, but it is very rewarding there’s no doubt. I breastfed my daughter Daisy and I think I did the right thing. However, extended breastfeeding is controversial, with many mothers feeling it is the right thing to do, although it is often shown in a more negative light in the media. There are helpful tips about parenting and lots of support for mums on forums and other well-established sites that help discuss this controversial topic.

Here, we take a look at five benefits of breastfeeding a toddler, for both mother and child, so you can have a great comeback the next time a nosey stranger tells you your child is too old to still be nursing!

1. Breastfeeding Provides Nutrition

Whether you are feeding a 2 day old baby or a 2 year old toddler, there is no denying that breastfeeding provides valuable nutrition. For toddlers who are fussy with food, breastfeeding is a great way to ensure they are still getting a good level of fat and protein in their diet. Breastmilk provides vitamins A, B12 and C for toddlers too, which they might not get enough of from food alone.

2. Breastfed Children are Healthier

Children who are breastfed have been found to suffer from fewer illnesses, and when they do get ill, they recover quicker than those who are not breastfed. It is particularly useful at protecting against ear infections and upper respiratory infections. Breastmilk contains many antibodies, which continue to offer protection no matter the age of the child.

3. The WHO Recommends Nursing Until at Least Age 2

Whilst many women might feel awkward about breastfeeding their toddler, particularly if their family or friend do/did not, it is actually recommended by the World Health Organization to breastfeed until at least the age of 2 years old. As long as both mother and child are happy to continue nursing, there is no reason to stop too soon. It’s thought that the natural age of weaning from the breast could be up to the age of 5 years old, although it is rare for mothers to continue breastfeeding until this age.

4. Extended Breastfeeding Benefits Mums Too

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mums as well as for babies and toddlers. Women who are breastfeeding may lose weight more easily, and breastfeeding can also help delay the return of fertility after having a baby. It can also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Breastfeeding your toddler might also help you feel closer to them, especially if you have gone back to work, or your child doesn’t yet speak much.

5. Comfort Nursing can Benefit Toddlers

Babies often nurse for comfort or to help drift off to sleep. However, it can be equally beneficial for toddlers – think of it as a way to instantly tame those tantrums! A quick comfort feeding can act as a natural pain reliever after a fall or minor injury. It can also be beneficial for mums to have a quiet sit down with their toddler during or after a busy day. The hormones produced during nursing can also lead to feeling of calmness, or even euphoria.

About Emily Dick the Author

Emily is first and foremost a mother to her daughter Daisy, adoptive mother to her 3 cats and wife to her husband. She it’s a parenting blogger and loves to write on her blog which reviews kids’ products, toddler toys and baby items. From newborn items to toys her plans is to take it as far and wide as possible by offering helpful reviews and insight into the world of parenting.

Signs Your Kids Are Developing Bad Dental Habits

Most parents don’t worry too much about their kids’ teeth, especially below the age of six. It’s easy to take their dental teeth for granted. After all, your little ones are afraid of dentists, and chances are that you – as a parent – are equally wary. First off, you’re probably afraid because you’re seeing the wrong dentist, or because of bad memories in oral hygiene.

dental habits

Fortunately, modern dentistry is nothing like the horror stories you heard or experienced in your childhood. With improved technology and dental practices, many treatments are quick and painless. Think about it. Braces can now be invisible, and there are advancements like sleep dentistry and laser dentistry that lower discomfort levels to nearly zero.

Another reason you might neglect the dental health of your children is that you assume milk teeth aren’t that important. You figure they’ll all fall out, so they don’t need much care. It doesn’t seem worth the effort of wrangling your kids into avoiding sweets or regularly brushing and flossing. It feels like a lot of unnecessary work.

While it’s true that baby teeth are temporary, they do affect your child’s permanent ones. If the baby teeth rot prematurely, they can affect the foundation and position of their adult dental formula, and that kind of deep-rooted damage is harder to correct.

Many good habits are developed in childhood, and good oral hygiene is no different. In the same way, bad dental habits acquired as a kid are likely to stay with your little ones for life. This becomes a deeper problem once you realise that a lot of these oral and dental patterns seem benign, so you probably haven’t done anything to stop them.

A lot of parents soothe their babies and toddlers to sleep using bottle or breastfeeding. While this is fun for the baby, it can harm their teeth. How? Well, if a baby falls asleep at the breast, there’s a big chance they still have milk in their mouth. While the baby’s swallow reflex ensures this isn’t a choking hazard, it might still affect their gums and un-erupted teeth.

The same challenge faces babies who constantly have their bottles or pacifiers in their mouths. The problem is compounded when parents douse the pacifiers or fill the bottles with juice, sugary drinks, or sweetened substances. Some parents add a little cereal to the bottles to get the baby fuller and help them sleep through the night.

The danger in these tactics is that the babies’ teeth and gums are consistently bathed in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Even a little sugar can cause progressive damage, which is why the natural sugar in breast milk can be a problem as well. And some children continue to breastfeed all the way to their fifth or sixth birthdays.

For breastfed babies, you don’t have to deprive your child of your most intrinsic form of comfort. It’s good for their health, and bonds you to each other. But while there is some validated bliss in having your child fall asleep at your breast, keep an eye on them.

Once you’re sure they’re asleep, take your breast out of their mouth. Use the right unlatching technique, to avoid hurting your nipples and causing yourself unnecessary pain and cracking.

If you have a hectic day, it’s tempting to give your child a bottle to calm them as you cook, do housework, or run errands. Try other soothing methods instead, like a pacifier. Make sure the pacifier is clean, and don’t dip it in juice or honey.

You can also soothe your baby using a bottle filled with plain water instead of sweetened drinks and milk. Sometimes the sucking action calms the baby just as effectively as the choice of fluid, so unless the baby is hungry, water is a better choice. At bed time, a pacifier or a bottle with just a little water is healthier than cereal, juice, or milk.

If your baby is too little for a toothbrush, wipe their gums with a clean, damp cloth. Start this as early as possible, even from day one. It develops good oral hygiene habits. As your baby gets older, switch the bottle for a sippy cup, since it slips over the teeth and reduces the teeth’s exposure to sugar-based bacteria. The cup should hold water more often than juice.

Another matter you may not have considered is sucking their thumbs, tongues, or lips. This can cause overbite and possible lisping. This is fine for smaller kids but can affect their teeth if they haven’t stopped by age five or six. It can also get them bullied or teased, which has deep social and psychological effects that can last a long time.

Many parents confront the habit by scolding, teasing, or peppering the child’s thumb. These methods can be counterproductive because sucking is a soothing mechanism. It gives the child comfort, so stressing the child out might just make them seek more comfort. It can add shame and anxiety to their relief, which only reinforces the habit as they try to hide it.

Instead of punishing the child, use positive reinforcement to make the child want to stop on their own. Discover the triggers for sucking and find other ways of soothing your child’s unease. Once the child has agreed that they no longer want to suck, you can use a band aid or dental appliance to make the actually sucking less pleasant and therefore less appealing.

Source of information:
Image Source: Pixabay

Use Child Safety App For Android To Secure Your Child Digitally

Digital safety is one rising concern for everybody today. But in U.S., the situation is a bit alarming. As per the recent poll, internet safety stands at the fourth top position in the list of top 10 child health concerns that are rated as “Big Problem” by adults this year.


Could you understand the situation after looking at the infographic above? Today, Internet safety issues are even bigger problems than smoking, teen pregnancy, and violence.

Contributing Factors:

One big contributor to the situation is the aggressive use of smartphones by teens and preteens. Android phones are affordable. This doesn’t mean that you purchase your 8-year old kid a smartphone. The above-given stats are not exaggerated. These are the facts that are heightened because of parents being negligent of their kids’ online activities. They neither know about kids’ web behavior, nor they look into their problems their kids face in the cyber world such as cyber bullying and sextortion etc.

digital parenting

Role of Parents:

There is the majority of parents who are concerned about these issues, but they don’t know a smart way of monitoring their kids online. Some try to interrogate, some spy and some end up being the helicopter parent while making the effort. All these ways don’t work today because your kids are smarter than you. With a fear to lose their device, they conceal the situation from you and continue to suffer. You can’t let your child live in misery. One good option parents can opt, to cope with the situation is to use the advanced child safety app for Android such as FamilyTime.

FamilyTime Image

Child Safety Apps:

The app helps parents stay posted about the kid’s online activities by offering a range of valuable features that include:

•Web browsing history tracking with the date and time stamps.
•Monitoring of favorites and bookmarks.
•Mirroring contact list with all the details saved on child’s device.
•Monitoring of call logs.
•Accessing the list of installed apps.
•Blacklisting inapt apps.
•Watchlisting suspicious contacts.
•Remotely locking the phone

Want to give this app a try? Download it today from your Google Play for free.

Act Smart!

Be a vigilant parent to secure your kid online. Keeping the child happy is one parental role and ensuring their security is the other. Realize the later part and act smart!